Appendix E - Gender Reassignment
E1 Definition of ‘gender reassignment’ and ‘trans’
E1.1 Gender reassignment is defined in the Equality Act 2010 as a person who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing, or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning a person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex.
E1.2 Trans is an inclusive term for people who identify themselves as transgender or transsexual. The word ‘trans’ can be used without offence (as an adjective) to describe people who:
- Are undergoing gender transition/reassignment
- Identify with a different gender from that which they were assigned at birth, but have not decided to undergo medical treatment
- Choose to dress in clothes typically worn by the other sex.
Sometimes trans is written trans* to refer to the full diversity of gender identity.
It is an offence under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to disclose information about a person’s gender history, or any application they may have made for a gender recognition certificate, unless that disclosure is made with the person’s explicit consent. It would be good practice for any such consent to be in writing in order that a record may be kept.
E3 Supporting Infrastructure
E3.1 The Gender and Sexual Diversity Group remit includes supporting and advising the University on its legal obligations, promoting cultural change, considering implications of external good practice and overseeing the implementation and further development, as necessary, of policies and practices relating to the protected characteristics of sexual orientation, gender reassignment and marriage and civil partnership. The group consults with relevant stakeholders as appropriate. It reports to the Equality and Diversity Strategy Committee.
E3.2 The University supports a LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) staff network, whose purpose is toprovide a forum for discussing appropriate issues of mutual interest in a safe environment, networking opportunities, contributions to policy and social events.
E3.3 The GULGBTQ+ (Glasgow University Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer + Students’ Association) is a students’ society formed to provide an open and welcoming space for people under the LGBTQ+ banner (the banner includes people from outside the acronym; moreover, the society welcomes everyone from every background). It provides both a welfare and social space so that people can get to know each other. It is affiliated to the Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council.
E4 Code of Practice on supporting a student or staff member who is transitioning
E4.1 Awareness of potential barriers
All staff and students should be aware of the barriers and discrimination that may be encountered by a trans person. Examples include:
- Excluding the trans person from work or work-related activity.
- Verbal or physical threats.
- Refusing to address the person in their acquired gender or to use their new name.
- Revealing the trans status of a person to others without their consent (‘outing’ them).
- Passing judgement on how ‘convincing’ the person is in their acquired gender.
- Refusing to allow a trans person to use single-sex facilities appropriate to their acquired gender.
- Less favourable treatment in regard to sickness or other absences.
- Refusal to acknowledge the rights of a trans person, or that a transition has occurred.
E4.2 Planning and Managing transition
A member of staff who is planning to transition should speak with their line manager, a member of their local Human Resources team or the Equality and Diversity Unit, in the first instance. A student who is planning to transition should speak with their Adviser of Studies. In both cases, the trans person should be supported to put in place a plan for managing the transition. The plan may include:
- New name and title.
- When they wish to start using the new name and title.
- When they wish to start dressing and presenting in their acquired gender.
- Any dress codes which need to be considered (e.g. uniform requirements).
- When the person wishes to start using toilet and changing facilities appropriate to their acquired gender. (NB: Disabled toilets should not be suggested as an alternative).
- Expected timescale of any medical procedures, if known.
- Details of time off required for medical treatment and how this will be managed.
- List of records or other systems requiring amendment. Note issues may arise if a student holds a student visa.
- When other members of staff and students should be informed, and how this should be done.
- Details of any educational material which could be used when informing others of the transition.
- Other University departments which need to be made aware of the transition, and when they should be informed.
- Note of how any bullying or harassment will be dealt with.
E4.3 Name and Gender Changes
E4.3.1 Once a trans person has made known their chosen name, this name should be used in all circumstances, rather than their birth name. However, if a student holds a student visa in their birth name or gender, the University will not be able to change their primary record. The University is required to maintain student personal records consistent with the identity given on their visa.
E4.3.2 The University will normally need to see some proof of a name change, for example a birth certificate, passport or statutory declaration of name change in order to amend student records. Requests for such changes will be kept confidential. This will change a student's primary name in the University records and on their degree certificate. If a student is unable to provide such proof of identification in a new name or gender they should contact the Student Services Enquiry Team (SSET) in writing or email to request a change to their records, quoting this section of the Equality and Diversity Policy. SSET will provide a declaration form to be completed to enable the University to verify the request. See http://www.gla.ac.uk/students/sset/
Staff should make contact with their local Human Resources team or the Equality and Diversity Unit in order to have their records amended.
E4.3.3 It is not appropriate to ask for evidence of medical supervision in order to amend records, as not all trans people will be under medical supervision. It is unlawful to require a Gender Recognition Certificate.
E4.3.4 No records should be changed without the permission of the person concerned. The University will need to agree with them the date from which their name and gender is changed on all student or staff records and public references (e.g. ID cards, contact details, email addresses, website references, payroll and pensions etc). See E4.2 ‘Planning and Managing the Transition’, above).
E4.4 Time off for medical reasons
E4.4.1 Where a person needs to take time off work or study for medical assistance because of gender reassignment, they should not be treated any less favourably than if the absence was due to sickness or injury. Trans people may require time off for appointments (e.g. psychotherapy or voice therapy), surgery and recovery from surgery. Time off may vary considerably, from one week to around 12 weeks, depending on the nature of the surgery and the demands of the person’s job or programme of study.
E4.4.2 Reasonable time off for gender reassignment reasons will be considered as a mitigating circumstance when applying section 7 of the Sickness Absence Policy for staff(28).
E4.5 Provision of Gender Neutral Facilities
A trans person should have access to ‘men-only’ and ‘women-only’ areas – such as changing rooms and toilets – according to the gender in which they present. The University of Glasgow also provides gender neutral toilet facilities in various locations on campus – details can be found on the Equality and Diversity Unit’s website.
E4.6 In class/In front of colleagues
The trans person should be referred to by their preferred name and pronoun. If there is uncertainty regarding the correct pronoun to use, the person should be asked in advance how they would prefer to be addressed. Thoughtful planning and management of the transition process should help to avoid uncertainty and embarrassment in this regard. See E4.2 ‘Planning and Managing the transition’ above.
E4.7 Student Accommodation
E4.7.1 University Residential Services recognise the specific needs and requirements of transitioning students in the provision of accommodation. If for this reason, a student has a specific need to be in either single or mixed sex accommodation, they should indicate this in the application. This information will be kept confidential within the application procedure.
E4.7.2 If a student chooses to transition during their time at University, and this requires a review of their accommodation, Residential Services will provide advice and support on a confidential basis.
Transition Guidance and Action Plans
E5 Further information and contacts(29)
E5.1 On Campus
Student Services Enquiry Team
University Sexual Orientation Equality Champion (also has responsibility for transgender issues)
Mr David Newall
University of Glasgow LGBT staff network
GULGBTQ+ students’ association
Scottish Transgender Alliance
Transition Support Service
Gender Identity Research and Education Society
Equality Challenge Unit
Guidance document “Supporting a Student or Member of Staff who is Transitioning”
(29) Please also see section 10 of the policy.